Of love bites, toothpastes and jingles!

“SK…RUNCH” she goes and her teeth gleam white in the darkened cinema hall as she bites into an apple plucked straight off a tree! And I fall in love all over again – no, not with her or the dude next to her or with any hero chasing a girl around a tree but for the product that dances its way across the screen after that first scrunch. 

The jingle is still fresh in my memory:

Vajradanti, vajradanti

Vicco Vajradanti.

Toothpowder, toothpaste.

Ayurvedic jadi-bootiyon se bana

sampoorna swadeshi

Toothpowder, toothpaste.

Viccoooo. Vajradanti!

That was 1984 and I still use the product and can sing (after a fashion!) the jingle. A couple of years ago, when we were holidaying in the Himalayas, we stayed in an apple orchard and the very first thing i did was to pluck an apple off a tree and bite into it – singing said song!! Thank goodness my children were not around to witness the corniness – would never have lived it down! But a kind friend (thank you, Dipika!) filmed the whole sequence and played it back to squeals of amused disdain from my children! 

Growing up in the South of India with not an apple tree in sight but eating them from the market (they might as well have come from a cow for all i knew), seeing them actually growing on trees was something of a wonder for me – the first time I did was when I was about ten years old, on a school trip to Kashmir (more about this in another anecdote). Apples and walnuts are forever asociated with Kashmir in my mind and are two of the many yummy things to come out of that state. 

A dish made with both has to be a marriage made in heaven, right? 

Here goes a recipe for 


  • 1 apple – any crunchy variety (i have an version to the woolly ones) – peel and cut into 1/2 cm cubes and drizzle 1 tsp lemon or orange juice over. Set aside.
  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour – maida – sifted with 1.25 tsp baking powder and
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Butter – 50 gm melted to a deep golden brown along with 50 gm sunflower oil – set aside
  • Toasted walnuts – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cup yogurt – whipped

 Mix the dry ingredients together – flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix togther the egg melted butter, yogurt, vanilla essence. 

Preheat oven to 160C (325 F). Prepare 12-muffin tray with paper / silicone cups.

Working quickly, pour the wet ingredient mix into the dry along with the apples. Fold togther till just holding. Drop into prepeared muffin cups. Dot with walnuts and bake at 160C for about 30 minutes till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Rest for 20 minutes. 

Bite in, singing “Vajradanti, vajradanti…..”

You’ll be a convert for life – to both the toothpaste and the muffins 🙂